In an effort to speed up airport security, the Transportation Security Administration is testing the ability to use travelers’ fingerprints in lieu of boarding passes.
TSA’s pilot program for scanning fingerprints in lieu of boarding passes is only being rolled out at two airports — DIA and Atlanta — and will only last for four weeks this summer. The program, which uses biometric technology, started on June 14, and TSA will see how well it goes before establishing it in other airports or making it a permanent feature of airport security.
Only available for passengers who are enrolled in TSA PreCheck and have previously registered their fingerprint with the TSA, the technology will match fingerprints to travelers’ info already in the system, checking their name and birth date against no-fly and do-not-board lists, clearing them to board the plane without showing a boarding pass or ID. PreCheck, which costs $85 for a five-year membership, already allows approved passengers to sail through security with liquids and laptops in their carry-on bags and without removing jackets, belts, or shoes, so the “boarding pass via fingerprint” maneuver would simplify the painstaking security process even further.
During the testing period, however, the pilot program is still requiring IDs and boarding passes, in addition to the fingerprint scan, so it can check the accuracy of the system. It is also completely voluntary during the four-week test run, so travelers who may not be comfortable with the idea of scanning their fingerprint and having it connected to all their personal information are in the clear — for now.
Reactions on Twitter were mixed but mostly favorable:
What do you think about the fingerprinting program? Do you think it’s an inevitable wave of the future? Are you enrolled in TSA PreCheck? Let’s start a conversation in the comments below!